© Jocelyn Turner - Amherst Daily News
Registered public health nurse Samantha MacLellan prepares a flu vaccine. Cumberland County is starting to see cases of the flu and expects more to be on the way.
AMHERST – Cough, fever and body aches are all signs of getting sick with, most likely, the flu.
Cumberland County has only just started to see cases of the flu but could expect to see more.
“News reports say it’s been a bad flu season in Ontario,” said Dr. Robin Taylor, medical officer of health for Cumberland, Colchester, East Hants and Pictou Counties. “The good news for Nova Scotia is that the flu generally moves from West to East. We have a couple of weeks and the good news in that is it takes two weeks for your flu shot to kick in.”
Because there have not been a high number of cases of the flu coming in to hospitals in the area, Taylor said now is the perfect time for anyone who hasn’t already had their flu shot to get it.
“There are a few cases in Nova Scotia and we are expecting more as the season progresses,” she said. “We’re at the beginning of our flu season.”
Taylor said it’s important to remember that the flu can be serious for certain residents.
“Some are more at risk than others,” she said. “It’s not uncommon for certain parts of the population to be seriously effected by the virus. Kids under five are hit harder, the elderly are hit harder, and those with other medicals conditions, like lung and heart conditions.”
By getting immunized, you’re not only protecting yourself from getting the flu but your family as well.
To prevent spreading or contracting the flu, people should wash their hands thoroughly and regularly as the virus can be picked up by touching common surfaces.
“It can live on light switches and door knobs, and people touch them and then touch their face, and that’s how they become infected,” added Taylor.
Also, if you have a cough, cough into your sleeve and wash your hands. Anyone sick with the flu, Taylor said, should stay at home to prevent the spread of the infection.
For questions about the flu, people are invited to call the 811 service. Anyone looking for a flu shot can either contact their nurse practioner or family doctor. Flu shots are also available through Publich Health at 667-3319.